I recently met a young couple on their honeymoon and who also were 3 months pregnant.
Having had 2 children myself, my first comment, after congratulating them of course, was: “And how are you doing?”
What followed were giggles and sighs in reporting morning sickness, nausea, not able to do wine tasting, and needing a lot of naps! Something that was not planned when going on an extensive trip in Southern Africa for your honeymoon. The future dad went on to add: We have learned to make adjustments. – And this is the one word which actually defines what life with a child is about. “Learning to make adjustments”.
Becoming a parent, especially for the first time, is a life-changing event which involves inevitable changes.
A child changes everything and without adjustments, life would become somewhat challenging.
Adjustments are required from a health perspective of the carrying mom, as she will now need to take care of herself differently with a child inside her. Better eating habits are recommended and of course, if the mom used to smoke or drink, for example, she will need to stop, as another life needs to be considered when making choices which were originally just for herself.
So even when a child isn’t born yet, adjustments are necessary at a very early stage, and ought to be considerate of the child’s needs, at all times.
When parents separate/divorce, adjustments will remain a priority.
While in most cases, there will be a parenting plan drawn, parents must never let go of the need to be able to adjust.
It is not uncommon for separating/divorcing parents to become less flexible and even become rigid in following their parenting plan, but parents need to understand that, for children to grow up healthy and happy, adjustments need to be considered and allowed.
Just like the day you welcomed the news of becoming a parent and exploring the unknown of many required adjustments, a separation/divorce will again change your daily life. Your normal routine will once again require the process to adpat or becoming used to a new situation and with the need to adjust you may find yourself feeling sad, confused, lonely, desperate and even angry. These feelings may motivate you to resist adjusting to a new routine, but reality is, without adjustments, you will face a guaranteed struggle.
Adjusting to your new life and the needs of the children, as well as your own, will take some time and must be welcomed and not seen as a threat.
Here are 3 things you can do to welcome adjustments:
- Realise change is normal, even if the event leading to change is stressful.
- Acknowledge that your future is going to be different. Understanding that change brings about a different future will help you avoid being anxious while you are making adjustments. How you adjust and perceive the change is key to how well you will move forward.
- Know when to seek help. If making adjustments are mostly a source of conflicts, explore getting help to manage your emotions. Running to an Attorney or going to court every time a change is required will bear more stress on you and your children then the actual required adjustment.
The Law doesn’t raise children. Parents do!
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